Women in a Bustle writing for Bustle

Brian Goldberg, a young man with minimal knowledge about the interests of women, starts up a new website for the female demographic called bustle.com. As the founder of the Bleacher Report, a sports website that features articles solely written by fans rather than professional writers, Goldberg was able to raise money and investment to start up Bustle.

The Bleacher Report was a huge success. By a means of crowdsourcing, the website profited greatly because of the low production costs and huge population of interested sports fans that had the opportunity to interact with the posts. According to Goldberg, fans were the best and most cost efficient type of writers for the website–why pay for a more established writer if he/she doesn’t have as much passion and knowledge about particular sports teams? It makes perfect sense to me. I just feel as though Goldberg should’ve expected the criticism that he received because of the quality of the writing. It’s almost obvious that the quality of the writing would be subpar to the other journalistic sports websites with professional writers.

Taking this into account, Goldberg hired a small team of more experienced writers and journalists for Bustle. Critics of the site say that it’s a feminist publication but Goldberg agrees–that is exactly what he wants it to be. He realized that the various interests of women tend to outnumber those of men. Why not combine all of these interests to create the ultimate online magazine for women? Why not pair politics with fashion or books with trending topics and beauty? From a business perspective, I feel as though Goldberg is pretty brilliant–he saw the lack of online resources for this particular demographic of hard-working, busy, young women and made something for them. However, he received a lot of criticism when he first introduced his website. What the hell does this man know about women and what they’re interested? He didn’t mean to offend, but it’s true–how could he possibly know what he’s talking about? What he failed to elaborate on was the fact that the site is completely run by young women–the exact audience that the website is intended to attract.

I decided to take a look at the site and it’s actually pretty cool. It has a very large variety of topics concerning anything from politics to fashion. From the looks of it, it doesn’t seem too female-oriented but once you read it’s content it becomes more apparent. The layout is very clean-cut and professional. After browsing for awhile, I decided that I might actually like to revisit this website again. I guess Goldberg was successful in this sense–he attracted his ideal reader, the young woman.

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17 comments

  1. hillary601

    I thought that this was really cool. I really like the blog and the kind of stuff that they talked about. It kind of reminded me of BuzzFeed in the sense that it was really random. They had that one post about the new girl cast and who they would be in a Jurassic park film or something like that. I think it is cool that they report news and other fun facts in a funny type of way. At least I thought it was funny when I was reading some of their posts. There is no direct purpose for this blog though. Personally, I think that not every blog needs a specific purpose but it does make it easier to get followers when they know what type of blog they are following. For example, my blog is only based on alternative or indie music. No one is going to follow my blog to hear about hip hop or mainstream music. This blog talks about a little bit of everything which i think is really cool but I feel like there is no purpose. Overall though, I respect the blog and I think it is interesting but as Karen said in class, I wont go to this blog when I need a recipe or fashion advice. I’d only go to this blog to browse around.

  2. moegor94

    When we first learned about Brian Goldberg and the Bleacher Report, I immediately saw the appeal in a website like this but also realized the problems. Of course the writing quality would be subpar, especially without an editing staff but I see the spark in the idea. A website written by the appeals to not only readers but also to advertising company because it is run by the consumers they are trying to reach. In the end the pros weighed out the cons and Bleacher Report became a huge success. Now Goldberg has ventured out to start a new website for a different group of readers. He was collected a small staff of female writers and has them collaboratively working on an online publication/website for women readers. He thinks this is a great model for success because females will be able to go to one site to explore all their interest. He expects that readers will go to this site for politics and fashion, books and beauty tips. I think he’s very ambitious. He isn’t taking into account all the already well established publications and websites that females already visit for these interests. I think that Goldberg forgot how random internet success can be and ventured out into a field where most of the demographic is already devoted to a publication or website. At this point in the web there are so many websites targeted at that group of readers that a new publication can’t really stand out among the crowd and most likely won’t reach the success level Goldberg is expecting.

  3. hg163

    I agree with your point that Goldberg is a brilliant businessman. He sees an opportunity and goes for it, and has been pretty successful with his two major websites, Bleacher Report and Bustle. I have never actually heard of Bustle before (I wonder why…), but I have heard of Bleacher Report. The content in BR is obviously subpar to a traditional sports website, but for some reason the site attracts a lot of readers (including me, occasionally). But even with that success, he took a huge risk taking on a demographic that many people think he would not understand. If I didn’t already browse the site knowing it is targeted for females, I would think it is just a normal site; nothing about its appearance gives away the fact that it is female-targeted. The colors are neutral and the topics are mostly neutral as well (there are some pieces that are clearly for females). The only topic that clearly gives away the fact that it’s targeted for women is the “fashion and beauty’ section. Other than that, you could find everything else under, say Buzzfeed or Huffington Post.
    I also think that moegor94 is correct when he says that there are already many more well established blogs and sites that women prefer to go to, for whatever reason. To get a whole demographic of regular readers seems a little too ambitious, but I guess Brian Goldberg of all people would know what it takes to attract readers. In all, I do think it is worth it for Goldberg to attempt this; if the site does fail, at least he has one major success to look back on.

  4. briellebuis

    Obviously Goldberg, realized the power he had from Bleacher Report, and just kind of ran with it and made Bustle.com. I think he is just taking advantage of how well his name is known. I do respect him for making an actual team and editor for this blog, because it shows that he took the criticism from people surrounding the poor quality of writing that was being written on Bleacher Report, and wanted Bustle to be perhaps cleaner. I think he did a good job making a women based blog not stereotypical women. Overall, a lot of people probably give Goldberg garbage because he became wealthy and well known for something that seems so easy. But this jealousy is probably normal for any one that gets famous for something like this. Bustle is a clean blog that has random topics. I think it is a nice lay out for a blog and I like the blog overall, very different from the layout of the Bleacher Report which is kind of surprising because it seems like Goldberg would maybe use a similar style. Overall, it is pretty cool to compare the two blogs that have the same creator but are so so different in content.

  5. Brian

    Honestly I believe that Goldberg is a pretty smart businessman. He realizes that Bleacher Report cannot exponentially expand beyond its current fan-base which probably ranges between die-hard sport fans and men who watch sports once in a while. He knows that he cannot expand the basis of Bleacher Report, which is fans writing about sports and only sports. If he were to try to expand his audience and cover politics it wouldn’t make any sense since the brand is known for sports writing. So in order to solve both these problems he make Bustle. Bustle both expands the demographic audience so it now includes women as well as expands its topic since it covers a wide range from fashion to politics. So now instead of destroying and altering the attributes that make the brand Bleacher Report, he decided to make a completely new site using the same structure, “fans” are in this case young women, but has a much wider audience and range of topics. He also saw the weakness in the inexperience of the writers and hired a group of professional journalists and editors which to me is a very smart move. All of Goldberg’s actions that cultivated into the creation of Bustle are the actions of an intelligent manager.

  6. evanhuaru

    After reading this article I think Goldberg is way over his head, he got way to high and mighty over his first initial success The Bleacher Report. I think the reason why he was so successful from this site was his strong knowledge of sports and the incredible amount of fan base behind it. He and a few friends found a niche in the market that really sky rocketed from it’s low production cost and unknown sports writers around the country. However, the Bustle which is a new site that he created after The Bleacher report which is aimed for the population of young women is an area he is unfamiliar in. In fact he knows nothing about what a women wants because lets face it, he’s not a woman. He’s relying on a small team of young unprofessional writers in their twenties to thirties. I think that’s where his first major flaw is, trusting the content of these writers who are considered amateurs. I understand that he wants to target the young women of this generation by using young women to produce the work. But he doesn’t have that kind of low production cost and infinite amount of writers like the bleacher report had which made it so successful. The hundreds and thousands of articles written on the bleacher report scoured the search engines of Google and yahoo, so anyone who wanted to read articles on sports would eventually come by one of those articles. To be honest I don’t think the Bustle will be able to compete with top blogs with professional writers, he doesn’t have that competitive advantage.

  7. yadyayala105

    It is interesting that this man never seems to fail. He built a website where fans write their own sports articles and now he has made a website for woman and that it is a hit! I like the idea that he has different topics in one site. I like looking up a lot of different things online but it can get annoying when I have to go to several websites to find what I want. This guy puts everything on one site. The only down side that this site has that it doesn’t have a specific genre. Yeah it is great that it has so many different topics but when you open the website up you don’t really know what you’re going to get. The purpose of the blog is not very clear and readers may have a difficult time trying to find out what this blog is actually about. You mentioned that people criticized his website because it is written for women and he is clearly not one. It doesn’t really matter that he is a man because he has women writing his site. The beauty tips, the politics and fashion are not written by him. I don’t understand why people are getting upset that a man made the idea of making this kind of website; he isn’t the one writing it, women are so what is the big deal anyway. This man is very ambitious and has seen a lot of success; I just hope that he doesn’t expect that every time he makes a website that it will be a hit. Internet success it weird and random; it can really surprise you sometimes.

  8. mlew210

    I am a little bit surprised that a guy who started an crowd-sourced news website would also start up a female focused news blog as well. The two just seem like polar opposites in terms of writing quality and substance, but I guess he has enough money to do what he pleases. I looked at Bustle myself, and I have to say that very few articles interested me at all. There were sections for fashion that I did not really care for, and the parts on entertainment were on things like 50 Shades of Gray – not exactly something a guy would want to read. I honestly think that it is a great idea; it’s just not a website I would be particularly interested in going to frequently.
    As for the criticism on Goldberg for starting something like this, I think people have the wrong idea about it. Sure, he started the website up, but he is not the one who is writing the content. He hired professional writers to pump out content that women are supposed to enjoy reading. In this case, I feel like Goldberg is almost like a figurehead in this case. People ignore the fact that he is not the one behind the articles. He gave his writers a direction and set them loose. It’s kind of like how he handled the Bleacher Report. He gave his giant supply of writers a direction and let them churn their creative juices. I think the critics should be looking at the quality of the writing rather than the purpose of the website. In my opinion, that is what really matters.

  9. Miss Bombshell

    At first I took the typical feminist view of thinking what would a guy know about what women want and are interested in? And I was set on disliking the blog being that Goldberg’s background is in sports, which is typically a male dominated field when it comes to blogs. But after looking at the site and realizing the variety of topics discussed, my views quickly began to change. I realized that Goldberg has a backing of women on his team who help create the blog and help to add that woman’s touch. Also I began to think maybe a guy’s point of view on certain issues or topics could be beneficial to women being that we are always looking for a guy’s perspective when it comes to certain issues and are always wondering what goes on in their minds. I think this blog is genius because I am a person who wants all things in one place, like a one stop shop. And that is exactly how I would describe this blog because of the variety of topics discussed, ranging from fashion to politics. So I would definitely revisit this blog being that it combines a lot of the things that interest me and to have them all in one place is totally awesome.

  10. mjdenis38

    Goldberg started the website up to make a quick profit. He hired young writers realizing he would make huge profits with their knowledge as women. However, the quality of writing suffered, and the website is all over the place in terms of having a focus. Personally, I never really liked Bleacher Report because most of the content was slide show lists, and the writing wasn’t as good as similar websites (Grantland.com). And I think that Goldberg just created a female version of Bleacher Report. He did realize that the interests of women are greater than men, so he could exploit this website. The website has a great appeal though, and as long as Goldberg contains a constant readership, and it seems that he has. However, Bustle has to compete with other websites that focus primarily on women’s interests, and have a less focus on sports. I like websites that have a combination of everyting, but I think Bustle is trying to do too much, in vain of Grantland.com or the Huffington Post. Overall, I think it will be hard for Bustle to compete because of the aforementioned issues, but Goldberg has been successful in the past, so it wouldn’t be suprising if Bustle takes off and becomes a widely read site.

  11. wilschiu

    I disagree that there was no “ultimate” online magazine for women before Bustle came into the picture. What Goldberg saw was that there was no female spinoff of Bleacher Report in existence, which is a far cry from the total void of a website catering to that demographic. I would be lying if I said that I frequently visit websites catered towards females, but I am confident in my years of searching the web, I have tumbled across many sites similar to Bustle. I am sure that if I was specifically searching for them, I would have been able to find many more.
    I think it’s silly that he was even able to receive so much financial backing in the first place. I just goes to show the generation gap between those who have money and those who do not. The world is changing, and so has the world of business. Pouring money into a venture is no guarantee that it will be marketable. Previous successes on the internet are not a guarantee of future successes. It is very hard to control the way the internet flows, because there is so much content out there and a lot of different demographics. Jimmy Kimmel was able to create a video that went viral, but that was a rare case in a sea of internet users who are constantly trying to obtain internet stardom.
    Another thing that I think went wrong, was that Goldberg turned his back on the very thing that gained Bleacher Report its popularity. Fan created content for fans. By hiring his team of writers, not only is he increasing his cost of running, he has also lost the critical appeal of his previous success.

  12. karencronin

    I think Goldberg’s idea to create a website with assorted topics for young busy women is a good idea. But, after going onto the site I was not all that impressed. It did cover a lot of topics but I don’t think I would go there to check out the best books or food recipes. I would go to blogs/websites that specifically cover those particular topics. I suppose if you wanted just general information on a lot of different subjects, Bustle would be the place to go. What bothers me about Bustle is that it does not appear that anyone working there is getting paid a decent salary. While it’s better than what went on at Bleacher Report, where basically no one was paid, it does not sound like the Bustle employees are making the big bucks. While I suppose working at Bustle is considered writing experience, I am not sure how much of a reputation Bustle will have at other reputable establishments. I will give Goldberg credit in setting Bustle up better than Bleacher Report. I suppose he learned a lot from running Bleacher Report. I think it is a better move to have some editors in place and to hire people that actually have experience or education in writing. It is also a smart idea to have the website run exclusively by young women. They will be the on top of what is new and exciting and of interest to women like themselves.

  13. ktomiak25

    I was really interested in this site once i was on it. I actually want to try to go on it more often. The author of the article portrayed Goldberg in a seemingly unfavorable way, and honestly I was iffy of the guy at first. Having just out of college women come to his townhouse that he sleeps in to sit around and write articles seemed SO bizarre to me, even if I wan’t getting hired anywhere else I don’t think I personally would be comfortable in that setting. It seems very unprofessional. However, the outcome is pretty cool. I like that it is not in your face about feminism, because it doesn’t need to be. Most of the readers are women and while they identify with feminist ideas, they don’t need the reminder like certain men might. Also it is not super pink and girlie which adds to this. Yes, we are women… we don’t need to be reminded of it constantly. I love that they took that approach to it, and it is probably what’s going to make it popular. You can read this at work without looking childish on a doodle-y pink website. Another thing that was weird to me is that the technical people behind the site were mostly men who sat in a secluded room themselves. His whole business model seems so wacky and unorganized and inappropriate to me, but i like the idea of the website overall.

  14. tedrihn

    This article in my opinion just idealized the perfect job. Brian Goldberg created a website using devoted fans to provide his articles for him with almost no compensation for their work. He is giving fans a chance to write about what they love and he doesn’t have to pay them for it. All the while he is getting paid for the website that posts these very articles. To me that is just a brilliant idea; have someone run your website and you pay them practically nothing while you retain all the profits. Again Goldberg does this with Bustle, which he pays young creative women to blog about anything they want. From a business stand point, he is making a living off of other peoples favorite hobbies. I do agree that he is taking advantage of people who are willing to work for below average to no pay on jobs that they love to do. However this is a competitive market and you need to make the most of what you got, and what Goldberg is the way and means to making money off of other peoples creativity, because he offers them a platform to post articles about their favorite topics.

  15. lisak0

    I feel as if this is just another blog. There are soooo many blogs out there on the internet, and whichever you discover first and actually like will be the primary blog you will forever visit and be dedicated to. Brian Goldberg did get away with such great success with his Bleacher Report, but now he is just experimenting. The Bleacher Report is actually pretty different. I can see why it was such a big hit. So many passionate fans announced their big news about their favorite teams. Just the fact that these writers were actually passionate about their topics were amazing. I get a different vibe from Bustle. It is interesting and pretty great that the whole blog is written by women. It is great that all their opinions get across and known by the world. The blog itself isn’t “girly” because there are no hints of “girly” colors like pink or baby blue. It is, however, so… hectic and packed. There are posts scattered everywhere. There are no ads, which is actually wonderful but probably bad for the site. We discussed in class that advertisers will not know what type of demographic to target. I myself am confused as well. Advertising plays such a big part in the internet world. Ads are the biggest form of revenue in the media world. I feel that even the “About Me” is confusing… I do hope that the blog is successful… I think it should have gotten more thought towards it. I feel like Goldberg jumped into the website. I’m sure the blog will develop and advance more as time passes. There is just too many great and already known blogs out there like Gawker that are very similar to Bustle. It may be difficult, but once they gain more followers it will probably soar and succeed.

  16. Megan Murray

    A very interesting concept, that’s for sure. It’s one thing that you really need nowadays to be successful: a new, or at least underused, idea. Crowdsourcing to have the public write for you is an extremely smart business move. While risky, it paid off! This makes me think about a lot of the writing classes i’m taking, and how “elegant, perfect writing” of sorts that professional writers are trained for is really that important. Most of the time, readers are not professional writers, just readers – and they don’t have a huge eye for what is professional quality writing. If it’s coherent, readable, and it flows – good enough.
    While a lot of the content on the site doesn’t really appeal to me, and I don’t think i’ll be reading it much… I appreciate the idea, and I love that it’s written by “real people.” I also think after seeing Goldberg make very smart business moves, such as his crowdsourcing and hiring of selected demographics for his audience, the he will continue to make more smart moves if necessary. I wouldn’t mind working there – while the environment is unprofessional, it takes off a lot of pressure, and really is ideal to me in comparison to a stiff, stuffy office. I think the blog will prosper!

  17. dmhgs

    Who is the guy to be creating a website for woman? He’s a genius. Kind of. I’m not quite sure of the popularity of the website bustle.com but the idea was fantastic. He was successful by doing the same thing with the bleacher report. Why wouldn’t you want to try it with other audiences? Because it would be sure to be successful, no? I simply see him as a guy who jumped on an opportunity.

    However I see a flaw in this idea. The bleacher report was very specific to sports and while that is a vast area of interest there really isn’t something that has the same kind of interest for females. I’m not saying that females don’t like sports though, I’m just saying that there isn’t topic to make a blog of that can compare to that of a sports blog. Which is why when I look at the site bustle.com there are many different kinds of posts and categories. I think this is where the downfall is. The blog isn’t being broad while being specific at the same time.

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